It’s almost impossible to deny that what separate a good burger from the best burger are the ingredients. You can’t just throw any old thing on top of it and expect it to taste amazing. Making the perfect burger takes practice. It takes skill, the right ingredients, the perfect temperature, everything. That’s virtually undeniable. But what about Turkey Burgers? These delicious meat alternatives have become increasingly popular, and I went on a mission to determine what it was, exactly, it took to make a good turkey burger, the best burger.
It’s important to note right away that everyone has their own opinion on what makes and breaks the best turkey burger, so I tried to narrow it down to my top two choices. Each offers something just a little bit different, but I found that to be more refreshing than challenging. I also found it very filling, as I could hardly stop myself from testing each one. Since they were all so good, I can’t even try to give them any of them the top spot, so here they are in a random order.
First up we have the World’s Best Turkey Burger, created by a chef titling themself as the Southern Sugar Dumplin. This recipe uses 2 pounds ground turkey (preferably with 7% fat), ¾ths teaspoon salt, ½ a teaspoon of cracked black pepper, 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ½ a teaspoon dried rosemary, 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard, and 2/3s cup ricotta cheese. They suggest mixing all the ingredients by hand, followed by some patty formations of your own determination. A note included suggests keeping them fairly thick so they keep in the moisture. A lightly greased cast iron skillet seems to work best on a medium high setting. You’ll want to cook it without moving it for about 4-5 minutes or until the bottom side is a dark brown color. After you turn it over, cooking it for another 8-10 minutes on medium, or until the center has no more pink. And what might the burger’s serving style be? Well, SSD suggest a ciabatta roll with lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese, mayo and Dijon mustard. Fantastic.
This last one is a BLT Turkey Burger, created by Chef Laurent Tourondel, and comes with its own sauce to add to the flavor. This recipe breaks up into two parts, one for the sauce, the other for the actual burger, and then comes together afterwards to create an amazing looking sandwich, so that’s what I’ll be doing here. Since the sauce takes about an hour to refrigerate before proper use, that’s where we’ll start. You’ll want about a ½ cup of mayo, 1/3 cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of grated onion, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon. You’ll stir that all up until it’s combined well, and like I mentioned before, you’ll want to refrigerate that for an hour before you try to put it on the burgers.
Next come the turkey burgers. Now, these serve about 6 people. You want two pounds ground turkey, 1½ teaspoons onion powder, 1½ teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon fennel seed ground, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, tablespoons puréed roasted pepper, 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, and two teaspoons kosher salt. You’ll be combining those together, and then shaping out 6 burger patties about ¼th an inch thick. Set your skillet to a medium-high setting and cook for about 7 minutes on each side, though allow more time to cook out the pink. Toast the buns either on a griddle or as you can, cut side down, for around a minute and then build your amazing burger. Top with anything you’d normally find on a BLT, plus whatever else extra the catches your fancy. This chef suggests lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo, ketchup, mustard, and don’t forget your BLT sauce you’ve been storing.
Now what extra tips can we share that will help really make your turkey burger the best turkey burger a turkey burger can be? Well, if you prefer a simpler seasoning, try just using salt and cracked black pepper, then use butter to baste your burgers on the grill. Keeping a little fat in the burger helps stay moist and juicy, or try as Chef Tourondel suggested and dip your patties in water for no more than 30 seconds. Also, if you’re truly on a quest of the Best Turkey Burger, make sure you’re using top quality ground turkey. Well, that’s it. There a ton more recipes out there, just waiting to be discovered and tried. I hope these two tastes as good to you as they did for me. Happy cooking!